The map of Andrea Ghisi's Laberinto

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Mariano Tomatis » 09/23/11 06:58 AM

In 1607 Andrea Ghisi, a Venetian nobleman, published a peculiar book entitled "Il laberinto del Signor Andrea Ghisi nel qual si contiene una tessitura di due mila ducento sessanta Figure, che aprendolo tre volte, con facilit si pu saper qual figura si sia immaginata". The book can be used to divine, through three questions, which figure a person thinking of, and it is composed of 21 tables, one for each letter of the Italian alphabet, each spread over two pages.

Max Maven credits Vanni Bossi as the one who introduced Andrea Ghisi's book to the magical community (see Max Maven, "Book Tests - The History", Magicseen, number 11, November 2006).

The English 1610 edition was found by Bill Kalush and is available in AskAlexander.

I'm offering here:
http://www.marianotomatis.it/blog/?post=20110922
a "map" of the labyrinth and here:
http://www.marianotomatis.it/il_laberinto.php
an interactive version of the English 1610 edition.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 09/23/11 08:10 AM

This is wonderful! I love old book titles; it's almost as if they are so excited about having a book that they put as much information as possible on the first page.

The interactive game is a tad addictive, as well :)
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Postby Richard Hatch » 09/23/11 01:51 PM

This is really fantastic, thanks!
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Postby RobertAllen » 09/30/11 11:39 PM

Thank you very much for posting this!
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Postby Mariano Tomatis » 11/10/11 07:24 AM

I'm back to this thread just to say that on 11/11/11 I'm giving a talk during an Italian Congress dedicated to numerology. The topic of my speech will be "How we used number to read minds four centuries ago" and it will deal with Andrea Ghisi's book. Find here text and slides of my talk:
http://www.marianotomatis.it/index.php? ... llaberinto
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Postby Richard Hatch » 11/10/11 09:22 AM

Mariano, what a fantastic presentation on a truly wonderful piece of work! Thanks for sharing this!
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 04/11/12 04:00 PM

Last week Mariano "magically appeared" in the Magic Castle Library (his first visit to the Magic Castle, he said) and generously donated copies of both "Laberinto" and "Gratioso Pensiero" to the collection.

I remembered this thread - I had played and enjoyed the interactive version of "Laberinto" - but had managed to miss that excellent slideshow presentation which Mariano links to above. The story of how he cracked the code of this antique mind-reading book is both amazing and well-told. Beautiful job.
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Postby Mariano Tomatis » 04/13/12 06:20 AM

...and what a pleasant visit the one at Magic Castle!
Lisa, Bill and Jack generously opened me the doors of the MC Library and I could spend some time in exploring its treasures.
Delightful experience in LA: thank you Lisa!
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